Lamb (Gosht) nihari

Nihari is a traditionally Muslim dish of Indians and Pakistanis. It is very popular in Delhi and other north parts of India in Muslim community. It is even considered as a national dish of Pakistan. The word Nihar originated from the Arabic word Nahar means morning, the dish was usually eaten in the early morning.

Today I am going to share with you all a very delicious and traditional slow cooked Lamb Shank Stew, known as Nihari. Traditionally this beef stew is cooked slowly over night and eaten as breakfast in early mornings but you can enjoy it over lunch or dinner. For this recipe I have asked my butcher to give me Nihari pieces and he gave me 2 big pieces of lamb shanks which I asked him to cut into 2pieces, you can cut into small pieces also and marrow bones for the stew. I have used pressure cooker to cook yakhni (stock) to save time, but there was no compromise in taste. This spicy stew is reddish in colour with lots of oil glaze on top which is actually the juice of marrow bones which is melted in the curry, which makes this dish more delicious and mouth-watering. The curry has to be thin not very thin and not thick as when it gets cold it becomes tight or firm like clarified ghee, because of the oil left from the meat. The additional garnishing on top with squeeze of lemon juice will enhance its flavour and taste. Make this delicious Nihari at home at least once, you will enjoy with your family not like other curries.



  1. Lamb shanks – 2 (650 gms)
  2. Marrow bones – 350 gms
  3. Onion (medium, sliced) – 1
  4. Ginger and garlic paste – 3 tsp
  5. Cloves – 5
  6. Green cardamom – 4
  7. Cinnamon stick – 3 (2 inch)
  8. Bay leaves (small) – 3
  9. Black pepper corns – 1/2 tsp
  10. Mace flower – 1
  11. Aniseed (saunf) – 2 tsp
  12. Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
  13. Star anise – 1
  14. Black cardamom – 1
  15. Salt - as per taste
  16. Water – 4 1/2 cups
  17. For curry

  18. Oil – 1/4 cup
  19. Ginger and garlic paste – 3 tsp
  20. Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  21. Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  22. Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  23. Garam masala – 1 tsp
  24. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  25. Dry Ginger powder – 1/4 tsp
  26. Saunf powder - 1/2 tsp
  27. Mace and nutmeg powder – a pinch
  28. Paste

  29. Wheat flour (roasted) – 2 to 3 tbsp
  30. Water – 1/2 cup
  31. Fried onions (deep fried) – 2
  32. Garnishing

  33. Onion (sliced) – 1
  34. Green chilli (sliced) – 1
  35. Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1/3
  36. Ginger julienne (optional) – few


  1. Slice all the onions and deep fry it till it is crispy golden brown, keep it aside. Use 3/4th for the curry and 1/4th for the garnishing.
  2. Chop coriander leaves, slice raw onions, green chillies sliced and cut lime or lemon into 4 pieces.
  3. Wheat paste

  4. First roast wheat flour for 2 to 3minutes till its colour changes but not burnt and its aroma starts coming in a non-stick pan or ordinary pan.
  5. Add 1/2 cup water make apaste, without any lumps, keep it aside or make the paste when you need to add.
  6. Yakhni (stock)

  7. Add all the ingredients in a pressure cooker with shank meat and marrow bones, with adequate water.
  8. First give 1 whistles from the pressure cooker on medium heat then lower the flame and cook for 45 minutes. Switch off; open the lid when the pressure is released.
  9. Strain the cooked stock and keep the stock and lamb meat with marrow bones separately.
  10. Curry

  11. Heat the vessel add oil, when hot add ginger and garlic paste, sauté for 2 to 3min, on medium flame , add all lamb pieces with marrow bones and sauté for 1min.
  12. Add all the spices except dry ginger powder, aniseed powder, mace and nutmeg powder roast in the oil with the lamb pieces for 2 to 3 min on medium flame.
  13. Add stock, mix well boil for 5min and then add the wheat flour paste, mix well boil for 10min.
  14. Add ginger powder, aniseed powder, the fried onions by crushing with hand in to the curry and cook for 5min and then simmer by closing the lid for 30min.
  15. Add mace and nutmeg powder at last and simmer for 15 to 20 min again by closing the lid, switch off. Let it rest for 5min.
  16. The Nihari will be reddish in colour, with lots of oil glaze on top which is melted marrow and shank bones juice and it flavour which makes this stew more tasty and mouth-watering.
  17. Serve it in a serving bowl with naan and garnish with sliced onion, chopped chillies, coriander leaves and ginger julienne and with lemon wedges.


  1. You can cook with the normal lamb pieces but that glaze and the taste will not come.
  2. Instead of marrow bones, add paya (lamb trotters) for the stock, so that you will get taste like marrow bones.
  3. While adding the wheat paste you can add all the remaining spices including mace and nutmeg with the fried onions and cook till you get the consistency you like and it is cooked.
  4. With the same spices and technique prepare chicken or beef nihari.